I have heard that Freud wrote at length on the Grimm Fairy Tale: Little Red Riding Hood, highlighting all the suggestive themes and symbolism and "id-like" interpretations. However, I was not able to find any publications on Amazon. I then tried some basic internet queries and found little bits and pieces, but it all seemed to be alluding to it (mostly fan-fiction / random blogs). At this point I was a bit surprised because I was expecting this book to be more prominent and easy to track down and purchase.


Is there a (preferably hardback) publication of this work still in print? And if not, what are some likely explanations as to why it never got better publisher attention? After all, the Brother's Grimm and Freud both have mass appeal in their own right; putting the two together on the topic of Little Red Riding Hood is a recipe for a block buster if you ask me.

2 Answers 2


Freud discussed ‘Little Red Riding-Hood’ (‘Rotkäppchen’) in his 1918 case history of Sergei Pankejeff, who appears under the pseudonym “der Wolfsmann”.

Wenn der Wolf bei meinem Patienten nur der erste Vater-ersatz war, so fragt es sich, ob die Märchen vom Wolf, der die Geißlein auffrißt, und vom Rotkäppchen etwas anderes als die infantile Angst vor dem Vater zum geheimen Inhalt haben. Der Vater meines Patienten hatte übrigens die Eigentümlichkeit des „zärtlichen Schimpfens“, die so viele Personen im Umgang mit ihren Kindern zeigen, und die scherzhafte Drohung: „Ich fress’ dich auf“ mag in den ersten Jahren, als der später strenge Vater mit dem Söhnlein zu spielen und zu kosen pflegte, mehr als einmal geäußert worden sein.

Sigmund Freud (1918). ‘Aus der Geschichte einer infantilen Neurose’. In Sammlung kleiner Schriften, volume 4, pp. 608–609. Leipzig: Hugo Heller.

If in my patient’s case the wolf was merely a first father-surrogate, the question arises whether the hidden content in the fairy tales of the wolf that ate up the little goats and of “Little Red Riding-Hood” may not simply be infantile fear of the father. Moreover, my patient’s father had the characteristic, shown by so many people in relation to their children, of indulging in “affectionate abuse”; and it is possible that during the patient’s earlier years his father (though he grew severe later on) may more than once, as he caressed the little boy or played with him, have threatened in fun to “gobble him up”.

Sigmund Freud (1918). ‘From the History of an Infantile Neurosis’. Translated by Alix & James Strachey (1933). Collected Papers, volume 3, p. 502. London: Hogarth Press.

I found this by starting at Google Books Search and searching for “Sigmund Freud” “Little Red Riding Hood”. The very first snippet said, “The clinical discussion of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ is on pages 498–515” of Collected Papers, volume 3, which was easy to find via the Internet Archive. It is one of Freud’s most well-known case histories, and remains in print, for example there is a Penguin Classics edition, translated by Louise Adey Huish, under the title The ‘Wolfman’ and Other Cases.


Seems LRRH is spread out across Freud's works:

This site lists some works that appear to be by Freud and may contain reference to LRRH:

  • On The Occurrence in Dreams of Material from Fairy Tales
  • The Uncanny
  • Beyond the Pleasure Principle

The first one does not appear to be on Amazon; others seem to be in print but judging from table of contents, bit unclear about focus of LRRH. Not sure which one has the most in-depth discussion on LRRH and from what angles they approach the story.


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